Mr. John Mariani is on Forbes, not Esquire, chattering about what he thinks are America's great historic restaurants. There is, naturally, a slideshow, but that's skippable except to note that Palm Beach's L'Escalier is a completely insane-looking place that looks like a creative collaboration between Elton John and Leona Helmsley.
The piece, however, is quite interesting, with historical tidbits about Charles Dickens being a patron of Delmonico's, and that
Antonio's Antoine's in NOLA originated Oysters Rockefeller. At the very least, these bits of trivia will give you something to talk about with Great Aunt Edna if you are still stuck with family enjoying family time.
America's Great Historic Restaurants [Forbes]